Sorghum, a nutritious and sustainable grain, adds a pleasantly chewy bite to this simple salad from Roxana Jullapat, the co-owner and baker of Los Angeles restaurant Friends & Family. If you’re going to use sorghum grains as a salad base, she advises, presoak the sorghum at least 8 hours for the best texture, wash the grains before cooking to remove extra starch, and cook them with abundant water, like pasta. Once cooked, spread them on a sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil so the grains don’t stick together as much. Preserved lemon is a popular North African condiment made by pickling the fruit in salt and its own juice. The bracing lemony flavor adds a salty kick to this olive-, onion-, and fresh herb–laden tuna salad.

March 2021


Credit: Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Lydia Pursell

Recipe Summary

8 hrs
9 hrs 45 mins
25 mins
4 to 6


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Place sorghum in a large nonreactive bowl; add water to cover by 3 inches. Cover and let soak at room temperature overnight, 8 to 12 hours.  

  • Drain sorghum; rinse until water runs clear. Bring sorghum and 8 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until sorghum is tender, 40 to 50 minutes. Drain well, and spread grains on a baking sheet to prevent them from clumping. Let cool completely, about 30 minutes. 

  • Combine lemon juice and vinegar in a large bowl. Whisking constantly, drizzle in olive oil in a thin, steady stream. Whisk in salt and pepper. Add cooled sorghum, and toss to coat. Flake tuna with a fork; add to sorghum. Toss to combine. Gently stir in olives, celery, onion, parsley, dill, and preserved lemon. Let stand, stirring occasionally, until sorghum absorbs most of the dressing, at least 10 minutes or up to 1 hour. Season with salt to taste. 

  • Transfer salad to a large platter. Top with avocado slices, and drizzle with olive oil. Garnish with dill, and serve with lemon wedges.

Make ahead

Sorghum can be cooked up to 3 days ahead and stored in an airtight container in refrigerator.


Look for Bob’s Red Mill sorghum, available at health food and specialty stores and at